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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Price for NLB is Obviously Low Enough

In these days, the public offer for the purchase of shares of the state-owned bank Nova Ljubljanska banka (NLB) has expired. It started on October 29th, and it will end today (November 8th, TN). The NLB also published a pamphlet, which specifies the price range for a share, ranging from EUR 51.50 to EUR 66.00. With this, the shares officially started selling according to the IPO process. The final price per share was supposed to be known tomorrow (November 9th, TN).


They should sell at least 50 percent plus one share and up to 75 percent minus one share. Small investors are supposed to buy 10 percent of the shares, while the rest are institutional investors. It is a matter of concern that the certified price range for the share represents only 68 to 88 percent of the NLB carrying amount. It also shows that the total value of NLB is valued at just 1.03 to 1.32 billion euros. The price for the share is set very low, and the reason is that the situation on the market for selling the bank at this time is not the best.

Above all, we cannot overlook that the taxpayers have already rescued NLB at least twice, the last time in December of 2013, when the government of Alenka Bratušek recapitalized the bank with EUR 1.5 billion of taxpayers’ money. Since this could be considered state aid, Bratušek promised the European Commission that the state would sell the bank. According to the initial commitments, we should have sold it by the end of 2017.

We then witnessed a number of delays, as well as complaints that the situation on the market is not the best and the like. Now, we finally got to the sale, but it seems that we will lose big this time. Last year, the situation on the market was considerably more favorable than this year. The bank could have been sold at a much higher price, thus restoring the taxpayers a part of what we have forcibly invested into the bank so far.

However, we hear nothing about the national interest or national treasure anymore. Things are moving smoothly, so we can justifiably conclude that the deep state has found investors who suit them and who will get the bank at a good price.


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